Role-Aware Conformity Modeling and Analysis in Social Networks


  • Jing Zhang Tsinghua University
  • Jie Tang Tsinghua University
  • Honglei Zhuang Universtiy of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • Cane Leung Huawei Noah's Ark Lab
  • Juanzi Li Tsinghua University



conformity, social influence


Conformity is the inclination of a person to be influenced by others. In this paper, we study how the conformity tendency of a person changes with her role, as defined by her structural properties in a social network. We first formalize conformity using a utility function based on the conformity theory from social psychology, and validate the proposed utility function by proving the existence of Nash Equilibria when all users in a network behave according to it. We then extend and incorporate the utility function into a probabilistic topic model, called the Role-Conformity Model (RCM), for modeling user behaviors under the effect of conformity. We apply the proposed RCM to several academic research networks, and discover that people with higher degree and lower clustering coefficient are more likely to conform to others. We also evaluate RCM through the task of word usage prediction in academic publications, and show significant improvements over baseline models.




How to Cite

Zhang, J., Tang, J., Zhuang, H., Leung, C., & Li, J. (2014). Role-Aware Conformity Modeling and Analysis in Social Networks. Proceedings of the AAAI Conference on Artificial Intelligence, 28(1).